ELKTON — Just days before passing away, well known Cecil County businessman David Williams sold his Cherry Hill property known by the family as “The Hill” to Old Apostolic Lutheran Church in Newark.
William Denny, a member of the church board of directors, said Williams welcomed the idea that his 23 acres would become a place of worship and eternal rest.
“Our cemetery will be adjacent to the cemetery at Cherry Hill United Methodist Church,” Denny said. “There will be no school, no daycare center or sports. It will be very low impact on the community.”
The current church has a capacity of 588 people. Denny said the congregation has outgrown the building at 2038 Pleasant Valley Road.
“We’re full. The new church will roughly double the capacity to 1,000 or so,” he said. They had outgrown their original church and built a new sanctuary in 1999.
Old Apostolic Lutheran Church has been in the area some 70 years. Denny said most of the congregation is from Cecil County. When it became obvious more space was needed that was taken into account.
“Instead of building a second church our thought was to build a new church in a central location,” Denny said. “One of the properties we identified was the Williams property. We approached Mr. Willians and asked if he’d be interested ... to our great delight he was.”
“The fact that it was going to be a church was important to him and his wife,” Denny added.
Site studies and design is under way with construction expected to begin sometime this year. The board did allow the Williams family to celebrate one last Christmas in the family home. The Williams children and grandchildren placed candles in the window of the home, as had been the tradition of Peggy Williams, and took family photos on the property.